Begin your day with a visit to Bavarian Motor Works (BMW). The carmaker has earned a prominent place among Munich’s sights with the BMW Museum and the BMW Welt (BMW World). Opened in 2007, the BMW Welt showcases technologies, engine construction, design processes and current models, including Rolls-Royce’s “Ghost” and “Phantom” series models (BMW acquired Rolls-Royce in 1998). If you want to drive your dream car, or ride a BMW motorcycle, you can book online or directly at the BMW on Demand desk in the building, reserve it and drive to wherever you want at prices starting at €19 ($22) per hour. Open daily 7:30 AM – midnight; Sun from 9:30 AM – midnight; Free admission. Am Olympiapark 1 80809 München; bmw-welt.com/en
2 NYMPHENBURG PALACE
Take a 10-minute taxi ride southwest and arrive at Nymphenburg Palace. Completed in 1675, the building was a gift from Prince Ferdinand Maria to his wife. The complex was a favorite summer residence for the rulers of Bavaria, and later – up to the present day – a home for the House of Wittelsbach. Inside the palace, some spaces have their original Baroque decor intact. Many ornate rooms are open for visitors, including the Stone Hall, the Queen’s bedroom (birthplace of King Ludwig II) and King Ludwig I’s Gallery of Beauties, displaying portraits of 36 beautiful women from all walks of life at the time, and all with stories to tell. Don’t get too close to the swans in the small pond outside the palace; they may look majestic but they’re also territorial. Open daily 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM from April 1 to Oct. 15; 10: 00 AM – 4:00 PM from Oct. 16 to March 31; Regular ticket €6 ($6.85); Schloss Nymphenburg 1, 80638 München; schloss-nymphenburg.de
Jump in a cab for another 10 minutes and you’re at Munich’s city center and set to enjoy some Bavarian culinary delicacies. Ratskeller opened its doors for the first time in 1874, offering guests Bavarian specialties. Today the menu also includes food from Franconia and other regions. The dishes are prepared by chef Michael Schubaur, a student of Bavarian Michelin-Star chef Otto Koch. Famous dishes include Schweinebraten €11.50 ($13) (roast pork with gravy and crispy bacon crumbs, served with bread dumpling, potato dumpling and Bavarian coleslaw) and Grillwürstl Schmankerl €18 ($20) (Nuremburg-style bratwurst, skinless veal wollwurst, smoked beef beerknack bratwurst, Schnapps bratwurst, grilled bacon, sauerkraut and mashed potato). There are also choices for vegetarians, such as Käsespätzle €10.50 ($12) (egg noodles and mountain cheese). Open daily 10:00 AM – midnight; Marienplatz 8, 80331 München; ratskeller.com
4 NEW TOWN HALL
After all that food, it’s time to take a walk. Leave the restaurant, turn right, and in less than a minute you will see the cathedral-like New Town Hall, built at the end of the 19th century. Pay €1.50 ($1.70) for an elevator to the viewing platform of the 278-foot tower, and enjoy the view of the old town (October-April open Mon-Fri 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; May-September 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM). Don’t miss one of the biggest tourist draws – a two-tier glockenspiel (or carillon) located halfway up the tower with 43 bells and 32 mechanical figures. The characters rotate, accompanied by the musical chimes, with the upper tier re-enacting a tournament held during the wedding of Duke Wihelm V and Renata of Lorraine in 1568. The lower part shows the Coopers’ dance, performed after the terrible plague in 1517 to encourage the citizens to come out of their houses. The show runs for 15 minutes daily at 11:00 AM, noon, 5:00 PM (May-October), and 9:00 PM for the night show called Angel of Peace Rings. Marienplatz 8, 80331 München.
Head back in the direction of Ratskeller, continue walking for five minutes and you’ll discover Max-Joseph-Platz, a large square in central Munich named after King Maximilian Joseph. From the centrally placed statue of the first Bavarian King Maximilian I to the beautiful surrounding buildings, there is an air of grandeur to this plaza. The north side is occupied by Konigsbau, the early 19th century king’s Munich Residence. There’s a neo-renaissance-style old post office to the south; and to the east is Residenz Theatre, next to the National Theatre.
6 FALK’S BAR
End your day with a rewarding glass of Munich’s finest. Leave Perusastrasse, pass through Maffeistrasse and in five minutes you will reach the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. Falk’s Bar is one of the few bars in the city that claims to have been a legend before it opened. It was located in the famed Spiegelsaal (Mirror Hall) since 1839, and is the only room in the hotel that survived World War II. The bar is named in memory of Falk Volkhardt, owner of the hotel, and its blend of the traditional and the modern makes it a popular meeting place. The menu offers a wide range of wines and spirits, including the Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt (€10.20/ $11.60). Open daily 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM; Promenadeplatz 2-6, 80333 München; bayerischerhof.de
By Valerian Ho